Kristie Ackert of the Daily News had a nice piece yesterday about Bobby Parnell and his being the closer of the 2013 New York Mets.
Parnell was called in to close out the ninth on Monday in the series opener against the Marlins and failed to shut the door, leading to a 15-inning affair and an eventual loss. Due to the fact that the Mets young closer threw two innings and 35 pitches, Terry Collins opted for Brandon Lyon to try to stop the bleeding following Jeremy Hefner’s terrific outing. Wednesday, Parnell was out there to slam the door and hand the Mets a hard-fought victory.
Parnell “wasn’t happy” about the decision to not be called in to close on Tuesday but “understood”.
“He’s protecting me and I understand that,” Parnell said.
Collins decided it would be best to err on the side of caution rather than calling on him Tuesday after throwing so many pitches the day prior.
“I am just not gonna blow this guy out,” Collins said. “He had some elbow (issues), nothing serious, but a year ago we did this and his elbow came up sore for a while. It’s just too early.
I completely agree with Collins on his decision not to push it too far with Parnell. It is also nice to see that Parnell understands the fact that his manager is looking out for him long term. Bobby Parnell is the future of this organization out of the ‘pen and there is no reason to overwork him, especially so early in the season.
Hard throwing pitchers such as Parnell put so much force into every pitch, that if overused can cause serious damage. Just look at Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. The ability to throw 100+ takes a great deal of energy, and can take a toll on the body. The craft is rare–granted, becoming less rare–and should be used by a manager properly as Collins has, and not abused.
It is good to see that Terry Collins is thinking long-term and not just in this single season. It’s difficult for a manger to not use his best tool out of the bullpen in a key situation like what occurred Tuesday, but what is most important is the future and the longevity of the younger players like Parnell, and I am glad Collins recognizes that.